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David Ripley: A Banner Day for the Republic

May 5th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Today – the National Day of Prayer – was filled with hopeful blessings for Americans.

The President hosted an event at the White House to mark the Day of Prayer. Actual prayers were conducted at the White House, seeking God’s help with the daunting challenges facing this nation. Actual prayers were launched from the Rose Garden on behalf of the President while he stood with bowed head. Such a change from the Obama years.

We know that the Lord will bless such a public act of humility.

But the blessings don’t end there.

As part of the ceremonies, President Trump honored the Little Sisters of the Poor – who have fought a valiant battle against the Obama Administration for many, many years. Trump then signed an Executive Order bolstering religious liberties in this country.

But the blessings of the day don’t end there, either.

Today, the U.S. House enacted repeal of ObamaCare – itself a long-standing threat to Life. Most importantly, that repeal legislation includes many important pro-Life provisions. At the top of the list: Defunding of Planned Parenthood.

This is the single-most important pro-Life policy the Congress could enact, short of overturning Roe v. Wade through Constitutional Amendment. Both Idaho Congressman – Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson- voted to defund Planned Parenthood.

The language of this repeal also includes language ending tax benefits for insurance plans which cover elective abortion benefits.

Let us give thanks for the actions and tone of a new regime in our nation’s capital. And let us band together in prayer that the U.S. Senate will show similar resolve to end the evil partnership with Planned Parenthood.

Oh – and there is one other huge development of the day: President Trump announced that his first official overseas trip will be to the State of Israel and include a stop to the Vatican. That prioritization says a great deal about this president.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

David Ripley: Labrador Stands His Ground at Town Hall

May 5th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Left was on grand display in the auditorium of Meridian Middle School last night in a town hall meeting sponsored by Idaho’s Congressman, Raul Labrador. IEA teachers, environmentalists, Planned Parenthood activists, Medicaid recipients and miscellaneous other dependents of government largesse descended to confront the conservative lawmaker and set him straight about why socialism was the cure for what ails us.

For over three hours, Labrador took questions. Well, not really questions. The event was more like a speech-a-thon in which everyone from college students to old hippies offered soliloquies about the state of the world, hoping to make an appearance on television and embarrass Labrador.

They did not succeed – at least in diminishing Raul Labrador.

Despite the fact that socialists outnumbered conservatives in the auditorium by at least 4-to-1, Labrador patiently waited for some kind of question. He easily handled over a hundred people at the microphone. Liberal blogger Betsy Russell characterized the meeting as “feisty” – but the crowd was more often rude, arrogant and belligerent. They supported one another with cat calls, boos and construction paper, likely the inspiration of IEA teachers: Green ones for agreement, red ones for strong disagreement. Like some kind of gathering in Pyongyang, hundreds of green squares went up. At another comment, hundreds of red papers went up. Red signs. Green signs. Red signs. Very Creepy.

Over and again, Labrador masterfully waited them out, holding breath for the next bombastic speech – something like being held prisoner at a Democrat National Platform Committee meeting.

But the most remarkable thing about Wednesday night was the scientifically-verifiable evidence that “Trump Deranged Syndrome” is very real – even way out here in the West.

Many of those taking microphones hostage demanded that Labrador “do something” about Donald Trump. They clamored for an investigation of Russia, his weekends at Mar-a-Lago, his marriage to Melania, his daughter working in the White House for free. The crowd clamored for an investigation into the President’s tax returns, his megalomania, his actions in Syria, his budget proposals and his racist plans to overthrow the Constitutional right to immigrate into the United States.

It was clear that this crowd drinks daily from Rachel Maddow’s punch bowl.

There were times when one wished Congressman Labrador offered a more vigorous defense of President Trump or free market principles. But that is probably too much to ask in such a forum. Reason and facts were not generally well received.

Congressman Labrador acquitted himself well with humor, patience and just plain guts.

But we left the room with real anxiety over the future of our Republic. Those crazy conservative prophets of an earlier generation who warned about the long-term consequences of allowing the NEA free reign in our classrooms are, sadly, vindicated by the display we witnessed last night.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

David Ripley: Planned Parenthood Defeats Another Informed Consent Law

May 5th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Abortion Lobby in Colorado killed another bill this week aimed at making sure women and girls have vital information about their babies before undergoing abortion. The legislation would have required that women were given the option of seeing an ultrasound image of their babies. It would have also required that women were informed about alternatives to abortion – like adoption.

This is but a piece of an aggressive, permanent campaign waged by Planned Parenthood against laws designed to protect a patient’s right to make an informed decision about abortion.

Planned Parenthood has, for example, vigorously fought every single bill in the Idaho Legislature which helps protect informed consent rights for women over the past 20-plus years. When they lose in the Legislature, they often resort to lawsuits to keep women in the dark.

This kind of manipulation is vital to Planned Parenthood’s bottom-line: Women who know the development of a preborn baby are much less likely to choose abortion.

Planned Parenthood’s fanatical opposition to informed consent legislation seriously undermines their credibility as an advocate for women. Rather than trusting women to make decisions based upon sound science and facts, Planned Parenthood’s whole business model depends upon shielding women and girls from the truth – including her options and the risks of submitting to an abortion. This may be the only legal medical procedure in which full disclosure of the risks and consequences are not mandatory; and it is certainly the only segment of the medical industry shielded from standard malpractice safeguards.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

David Ripley: Congress Makes Preliminary Move on Planned Parenthood

April 17th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Senate approved SJR13 in March, repealing rules Obama pushed through before leaving office. His actions were designed to handcuff state legislators from eliminating funding of Planned Parenthood. This finalizes congressional action on striking down the HHS rule, and the measure goes to President Trump.

All Democrats and 2 Republicans locked arms to protect the nation’s largest abortion chain – even as new videos surfaced this week of their barbarous treatment of preborn children. The close vote required Vice President Pence to break the tie.

Idaho’s two senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, both voted to overturn the rule.

This measure is a vital step in dissolving the sordid partnership between Planned Parenthood and America’s taxpayers – but it is not the big one.

The Congressional measure to defund Planned Parenthood is wrapped up in the whole ObamaCare repeal fiasco still percolating in Washington. Republican leaders had planned to use the Reconciliation process to cut Planned Parenthood funding. We can only pray that Republicans come together to get legislation to the president’s desk.

In the meantime, we can be grateful for this important step forward.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

David Ripley: Historic Day of American Renewal

April 11th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Senate confirmation of Judge Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court is truly an important accomplishment for President Trump and the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. While the military action in Syria has deflected some of the attention which should properly be focused on this monumental victory, we predict the fruit of Gorsuch’s tenure on the Court will long outlast the day’s headlines.

Given the impact the Supreme Court has on modern American life, this appointment and confirmation will likely justify and commend the entire Trump presidency.

By every measure, Gorsuch is a very smart and qualified jurist. But the world is full of clever people. What makes his position on the court so important is that he is, apparently, a righteous person. Everything we have read about his previous work on the federal courts indicates that he has a profound respect for the traditional values which gave rise to the greatest nation in history – particularly the principle of religious liberty.

Trump and Gorsuch 2 A momentary reflection on the alternative reality of a Hillary pick joining the other leftists on the Court should be enough to bring every reasonable American to his or her knees in gratitude for God’s mercy.

We think it is also important to publicly commend the leadership and work of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He has not always been able to provide the kind of conservative leadership many of us have desired – but in this matter, he has performed magnificently. He protected the Court from Obama’s last minute attempt to pack the bench, and he quietly and courageously led his Caucus into a gun fight with the mindless Democrat minority. Unlike many such fights – the Republicans won and the nation won big.

It was McConnell’s finest hour. In fact, it may not be too much to say that he and President Trump helped save the Republic yesterday. At a minimum, the placement of Gorsuch on the Court has given us all the chance to continue our fight to keep it.

The pro-Life movement has suffered several set-backs since the death of Justice Scalia. So we are very hopeful that the years ahead will see a spring-like renewal of opportunities for the states to defend preborn children and their mothers from the evil seductions of Planned Parenthood.

May the Lord bless Justice Gorsuch and the United States of America.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

David Ripley: Charlie Daniels asks – How About Sanctuary Cities for the Preborn?

April 11th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Legendary country music artist Charlie Daniels posed a daring question: If cities, counties and even states are able to ignore federal law by harboring illegal aliens – perhaps we can use the same logic to provide sanctuary for the most vulnerable humans in America: preborn babies.

Daniels posted a conscience-provoking challenge to his Twitter account:

“How about some cities declaring themselves a sanctuary for the unborn and refuse to abide by the federal laws allowing abortion?”

Of course, such a challenge to the various edicts coming from the nation’s federal courts would be met with violent protests from the anarchist Left which has sought to bully society in recent years. One can hope that their Democrat allies in Congress might see the contradiction exposed by Daniels, or feel compassion for the babies being terrorized while they rest in the womb. But reason and reasonableness seem to be in very short supply among Democrats these days.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, 27 March 2017

March 29th, 2017 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

As we came to this session, I thought it was interesting that House and Senate Leadership set a target date for getting our work completed and calling it a day. It is easy to do that given how long it takes for the budget committee (JFAC) to go through their processes and then allowing for the normal time to get those bills through both bodies and to the governor. That calculation would have ended the session on March 24th. Also a reality in most sessions is that there is always a potential for a train wreck or two that could gum up the works.

As is also normal for us, the volume of bills in the last few days of the session dramatically increases and are jammed through. In spite of our best efforts to avoid the end of session “bubble” this year, it happened anyway. So, at this writing it looks like there will be another few days needed to wrap it up. In addition to a few budget bills, there are two that we need to address, taxes and transportation.

One day this week we voted on the appropriations for Public Schools. Although there are several parts to that budget, the total exceeds two billion dollars. Those half dozen or so bills passed the full House quite handily in about thirty minutes, without debate. There has to be a record of some kind in that. The following day was Higher Education Day. One of those bills that spent about forty million dollars took an hour and a half of vigorous debate but passed easily as well. The day after that was Health and Welfare appropriations that exceeded two billion dollars passed in a short period of time, again with little debate. At any rate it was a lot of your money that was spent those three days. So, most of the money is gone as our good friends on JFAC would say.

And speaking of train wrecks, we finally got around to having one. As a result we slowed down enough to get us back to town for at least another few days next week. During the weekend it is hoped that the members of the body will get some rest, and more importantly study up on the remaining legislation and be ready to complete our work. There are some appropriations that need to be completed and some other things that are a must do.

It goes without saying that everyone here wants to get this session concluded. Someone told that it felt a little like a trip to the dentist when the anesthetic is beginning to wear off. I don’t know about that but because the things we have been going through this last week are a bit normal in most respects.

And down on the farm, Bruce called me and told me that he could use my help for some things there. Be patient son, I’ll soon be on my way.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Idaho Takes a Side-Step on Protecting Babies, Moms

March 14th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The House State Affairs Committee on Monday (03.06.17) took the unprecedented step of approving a bill to repeal part of a law approved in 2015 regulating chemical abortions in Idaho.

HB250 was brought forward by Idaho Chooses Life as a tactical response to the disastrous lawsuit still pending before federal Judge Lynn Winmill. After telling the Legislature in 2015 that it did not perform telemed abortions – and had no intention of giving out RU-486 after a “doctor” talks with a woman over an internet connection – Planned Parenthood sued the state in December of 2015. It claimed a “constitutional crisis” and demanded that Winmill issue a temporary restraining order to protect their “constitutional right” to kill more babies with greater economic efficiency.

The Attorney General’s office decided not to fight Planned Parenthood. Instead, it signed an agreement in the spring of 2016 saying it would not enforce Idaho law against the abortion chain.

So, effectively, webcam abortions became legal in Idaho last year. Planned Parenthood has been using the dangerous procedure at its Twin Falls facility for almost a year now.

We protested the move, but were told that it was part of a “larger strategy” to ultimately win the lawsuit. The state needed more time to organize its defense. Not to worry.

Well, by last December, it became abundantly clear that there is plenty to be outraged about. The Attorney General’s office signed a document, largely prepared by Planned Parenthood, called a “Stipulation of Facts” in the lawsuit. It is a twenty page document outlining the evidence developed by the parties – and the basis for any ruling by Judge Winmill on whether Idaho’s ban on webcam abortions is constitutional.

Our attorneys reviewed the document, after it was signed and entered into the court record, and came to the painful conclusion that there was no way the state could win the lawsuit. There is not a single piece of evidence before the court defending the Legislature’s decision to outlaw webcam abortions.

The Attorney General’s office apparently ignored the committee records developed through lengthy hearings in the 2015 Session. None of the expert testimony we presented was used in federal court. None of the research papers and studies we presented to the Legislature were given to Judge Winmill.

In lobbying the 2015 bill, we showed the Legislature that webcam abortions are dangerous and a disservice to women and girls choosing to undergo a chemical abortion. Women using RU-486 have died as a result of hemorrhaging, or undetected ectopic pregnancies and infection.

But none of that information was presented to the federal district court.

So not only can the state now not win in Winmill’s court – there is no record by which an appeal could be successful.

Given this disgraceful state of the case, we are asking the Legislature to amend the law in order to moot the lawsuit. This reduces the amount of money that state will have to pay Planned Parenthood in attorneys’ fees. More importantly, it stops Winmill from issuing a final ruling declaring our law to be “unconstitutional”.

That means Planned Parenthood can’t take his ruling to attack pro-Life laws in other states. And it means that we will have an easier time coming back to the Legislature to get these protections restored. It also means that we have protected the rest of the chemical abortion regulations approved in 2015 from Judge Winmill’s lethal overreach.

Make no mistake: This turn of events is tragic. We spent some three years getting those protections into Idaho Code. A number of legislators did a lot of heavy lifting to restrict the use of RU-486 in the state. Much more importantly, the legalization of substandard medical care for women and girls undergoing chemical abortions is going to lead to higher abortion rates in Idaho and greater health problems for women.

But our only rational course at this point is to minimize the damage being wrecked by this lawsuit.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

David Ripley: Keeping the (Liberal) Faith

March 5th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Have you noticed the increasing public presence of liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

During the last presidential election, the Supreme Court Justice made numerous political statements, which raised eyebrows in some quarters. Since President Trump’s election, Ginsburg has become even more outspoken in her politics and public criticism of the president’s agenda.

This past week, she made a trip to George Washington University to encourage the liberal faithful. It seems the 83 year-old jurist has become more of a cheerleader for the Left than a Supreme Court Justice.

She made it clear that she has no intention of leaving the bench to make room for another Trump appointee.

Ginsburg also went out of her way to praise the liberal press, defending outlets like the New York Times as purveyors of truth.

And then she went into her admiration for the thousands of women who turned out in Washington to defend legalized abortion and protest the anticipated policies of a Trump Administration.

“I have never seen such a demonstration, both the numbers and rapport of the people in that crowd. There was no violence, it was orderly. So yes, we are not experiencing the best of times, but there is reason to hope that we will see a better day.”

It is unseemly for a sitting justice to publicly advocate for such a blatantly partisan agenda. There can be no serious debate that such political organizing confirms our worst fears of a badly compromised federal judiciary. So we can’t feign surprise that judges like Ginsburg are partisan hacks; but it is nevertheless sad that she is so brazen about leading the liberal social revolution. And even sadder that her behavior has largely gone without criticism.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

David Ripley: Norma McCorvey Goes to Her Reward

March 5th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Pro-Life advocate Norma McCorvey passed away in Texas this past week, after spending almost two decades defending preborn children. She was 69.

McCorvey’s life is a prime example of God’s love and mercy. She was brought into a relationship with Christ after spending about half of her adulthood advocating for abortion rights. In fact, Norma is the woman around whom the Supreme Court concocted its infamous “Roe v. Wade” edict in 1973.

Norma revealed to the world in the 1980s that she was “Jane Roe” and that the factual basis for the lawsuit out of Texas was, in fact, not factual at all. Though she was still “pro-choice” at the time – Norma told the public that she lied about being raped, which was a key ingredient in a public relations campaign to seduce people into accepting the crime of abortion as the new normal in America.

McCorvey even went to work for Planned Parenthood for a time.

But in 1995, the Lord rescued her and she became a Christian.

By 1998, she was prepared to proclaim that she had become pro-Life:

“I am 100 percent pro-Life. I don’t believe in abortion even in an extreme situation. If the woman is impregnated by a rapist, it’s still a child. You’re not to act as your own God.”

We were honored to have Norma McCorvey as our guest speaker at the annual Christmas Dinner in December of 2010.

I don’t believe Norma ever underwent an abortion, but the horror of abortion largely defined her life. She became the poster child for abortion rights at just 22, and spent her remaining time here struggling with the moral and emotional consequences of being sucked up into that evil vortex. It was clear from our time together that she still carried wounds and many scars. There was a sadness about her, as well as a powerful strength.

It is good that she has now received her complete healing and is at peace with the Lord who always loved her.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

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